Distinguished Alumni: Alyssa Klein
After completing her M.A. in French literature in 2007 at the University of Kansas, Alyssa Klein began additional graduate studies at Vanderbilt University's Peabody College in Nashville, Tennessee. In May 2009, she received her M.Ed. degree in Higher Education Administration with an emphasis in Student Affairs. During her two years at Vanderbilt, Alyssa worked as an Institute Coordinator for Peabody Professional Institutes (PPI),a program which provides short-term, intensive educational experiences for professional educators and administrators during the summer. She also served as a graduate assistant at Vanderbilt’s Global Education Office and assisted in the development of a new year-long international service-learning program, VISAGE (Vanderbilt Initiative for Scholarship and Global Engagement).
Alyssa is currently the Coordinator of the John E. Dolibois European Center at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Located in Differdange, Luxembourg, the Dolibois European Center enrolls approximately 300 students each year in semester, year-long, and summer workshop programs. The academic curriculum allows students from all majors to explore European cultures firsthand in a multilingual environment. Students also have numerous opportunities for local community engagement and travel. More information about the program can be accessed at: http://www.units.muohio.edu/luxembourg/
. Alyssa credits her KU graduate work in French literature as having well-prepared her for a professional career in international education.
Alyssa enjoys keeping in touch with her KU French & Italian Department colleagues and can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Distinguished Alumni: Josh Collins
"I double majored in Linguistics and Computer Science, and am currently working as a Software Engineer. Looking back as an alumnus, my experience in the Italian program is one of my favorite aspects of my time at the University of Kansas.
After two semesters learning from encouraging professors, I spent a summer in Florence Italy studying at the Accademia di Giglio. It was shocking how difficult even the smallest social interactions became when the native language was not English; however, I was empowered in finding that I was able navigate every circumstance that came my way. By the end of the first week, I was sitting down for dinner with my host family and having full conversations in Italian. Traveling to Cinque Terre, Pisa and Rome on the weekends was great, but this program enabled me to do more than visit these places. I learned to cook authentic Italian meals from my host mom who did not speak English, and I had conversations with many people who would not have been able to speak with me otherwise.
It really was the experience of a lifetime, and I highly encourage anyone considering these programs to give them a try."